Mercedes bring a brand new front wing: Set to experiment on Friday

Mercedes W14

After a negative weekend in Austria, Mercedes aims to respond in its home Grand Prix. After the impressive package of innovations introduced in Montecarlo, both in terms of quantity and quality (worth up to three-tenths), Toto Wolff’s team will introduce another set of updates at Silverstone.

These have been defined as “important” by the Team Principal himself, especially from a long-term perspective. The Mercedes W14 has undergone plenty of change in 2023, with the technical team led by James Allison looking for confirmation on this new technical path.

New front wing for the W14 and a Friday of experiments

Toto Wolff’s words last weekend had created a lot of excitement for the innovations that the Anglo-German team was about to bring to the track at Silverstone on its W14s.

However, the package will not be at all comparable to the one introduced in Monaco. In Monte Carlo, the cars belonging to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell completely changed – featuring new sidepods, important modifications to the front suspension and changes to the floor of the car.

This package has improved the handling of the car and, most importantly, the consistency of the data correlation between the track and the factory instruments.

New front wing on the Mercedes W14 in the Silverstone garage

“Toto spoke of a big update for Silverstone, because of the important experiments we will carry out on Friday, not because the update package includes many new parts,” an inside source told us. 

On the W14s at Silverstone, we will see a new front wing, similar to what Ferrari did at the Red Bull Ring. Even if the front end is one of the W14’s strengths, the goal that Mercedes is pursuing with these changes is to improve the car’s slow speed performance, with a review of the flows directed towards the central and rear parts of the car. 

The aileron has been modified in each of its components: from the main plane, now lower in the central part, passing through the upper flaps, to the endplates, in the new rounded specification.

After the great Monte Carlo package, a “race by race” approach will be used to better understand the W14 

“There is too much anticipation for this weekend. After the great Montecarlo package, where we introduced a new development line of the W14, we now have a completely different strategy, with fewer but quite frequent updates. To better understand and understand the W14, step by step, race by race.”

the inside source continued. For the Anglo-German team, there is also a lot of work to do to bring a more competitive basic set-up to the track at the beginning of the weekend, considering the baseline set-ups in Spain and Austria were far from ideal.

At a normal weekend like the Spanish one, there’s plenty of time to make up ground, while in Austria, due to the weekend with the Sprint Race, the cars of the Silverstone team underperformed when compared with external and above all internal team expectations.

With a total of 480,000 spectators expected for Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton is also very curious to see how his W14 equipped with the new front wing will behave.

“We don’t have a huge package here, there will be a new front wing. We hope to go in the right direction with these small steps,” An aerodynamic macro-component that Mercedes had not yet updated with respect to the start of the season specification.

Meanwhile, while work in the factory on the W14 is proceeding apace, work on the 2024 car has also begun, which will have important chassis and mechanical innovations.

“I had a meeting with the team earlier this week. I spoke with the head of aerodynamics and the head of vehicle dynamics in view of next year,” Lewis Hamilton outlined.

A seven-time world champion still without a contract for next season who, however, has shown extreme positivity regarding an agreement that will arrive by the end of the season. 

Meanwhile, mindful of what happened last winter, he already wants to be much more present in technical meetings to understand and give advice to a technical staff that is defining the W15 macro lines.

Authors: Piergiuseppe Donadoni , Paolo D’Alessandro & Giuliano Duchess

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang